Bortezomib alleviates drug-induced liver injury by regulating CYP2E1 gene transcription

Woo Jae Park, So Yeon Kim, Ye Ryung Kim, Joo Won Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Acute liver failure, i.e., the fatal deterioration of liver function, is the most common indication that emergency liver transplantation is necessary. Moreover, in the USA, drug-induced liver injury (Dili), incluDing acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatotoxicity, is the main cause of acute liver failure. Matching a donor for liver transplantation is extremely difficult, and thus the development of a novel therapy for Dili is urgently needed. Following recent approval by the FDA of the proteasomal inhibitor bortezomib, its therapeutic effects on various human diseases, incluDing solid and hematologic malignancies, have been validated. However, the specific action of proteasomal inhibition in cases of Dili had not been elucidated prior to this study. To examine the effects of proteasomal inhibition in Dili experimentally, male C56Bl/6 mice were injected with 1 mg bortezomib/kg before APAP treatment. Bortezomib not only alleviated APAP-induced hepatotoxicity in a time-and dose-dependent manner, it also alleviated CCl4-and thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity. We also noted that bortezomib significantly reduced cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) expression and activity in the liver, which was accompanied by the induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In addition, bortezomib decreased hepatocyte nuclear factor1-induced promoter activation of CYP2E1 in Hep3B cells. By contrast, another proteasome inhibitor, MG132, did not cause ER stress and did not markedly affect CYP2E1 enzyme activity. Liver injury induced by APAP was aggravated by MG132, possibly via elevation of connexin 32 expression. This study suggests that proteasome inhibition has different effects in cases of Dili depenDing on the specific inhibitor being used. Furthermore, results from the mouse model indicated that bortezomib, but not MG132, was effective in alleviating Dili. ER stress induced by proteasome inhibition has previously been shown to exert various effects on Dili patients, and thus each available proteasomal inhibitor should be evaluated individually in order to determine its potential for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Bortezomib
  • Cytochrome P450 2E1
  • Liver
  • Proteasome
  • Toxicity, acetaminophen


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